Depth Psychology Alliance Interview with Barry Spector

Bonnie Bright and the Depth Psychology Alliance have blessed us again.  Bonnie’s interview with Barry Spector is extraordinary, timely,  and should not be missed.  It can be downloaded or listened to at this LINK. Spector’s mythopoetic  voice and message was a sort of chimera blending a trumpet rallying me to battle and a didgeridoo calling me to a deeper, interior exploration. Visit his blog at http://madnessatthegates.posterous.com/  for more. Citing an Inca greeting Inlakesh (uncertain of the spelling) “You are the other me” the listener is invited to imagine culture in which this greeting would have been exchanged.  In such a culture the other is not perceived as a threat but as someone who could bring something to our lives. Spector quotes the Nigerian poet, Ben Okri, “To be born in this world, in this modern world, is to be entering the world with an inextinguishable sense of exile.” It reminded me of another Okri quote, “Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.” The interview was also a wonderful segue to remind readers of the upcoming Webinar originating from The C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco on Saturday, October 27, 2012 titled “The Citizen’s Dilemma in Divisive Times: Four Voices” Barry and Maya Spector have arranged for the 15th annual Day of the Dead Ritual on November 3, 2012 in El Cerrito, CA. During the interview, Bonnie and Barry explore the means by which we can bring the notion of mythological thinking into the world?  Spector observes that our modern leaders have been unable to give us a perspective with which to examine the madness of our times.  He speaks of the importance of recovering  the ability to think in mythological terms, in terms of metaphor and nuance.  Their conversation reminds us of the pervasive experience of alienation in modern times. Spector cites Joseph Campbell who defined four essential functions of the myth: 1st are Cosmic functions that connects everyone to the cosmic mysteries 2nd are those that connects from the mystic to to the cosmological, it connects everyone to the great cycles, the initiation mysteries 3rd are the functions at the pedagogical level myths teach everyone to live a moral life within the definitions of a culture 4th for us moderns, we have a sociological function that helps align us with power functions of the state. According to Spector, Campbell pointed out that in modern life we don’t have myths that connect us to those cosmological levels.  Maybe especially America, the function of myth that we observe is the sociological function that connects us to the intentions of the state.  That means “nationalism” in Spector’s view.   The sociological functions of myth tend to keep us from connecting to our history and our own emotional lives that are just below the surface.   Spector also points to what he describes as the Myth of American Innocence, a 400 year series of narrative that he suggests “ justify American capitalism, racism, imperialism”  “by blaming its victims”.  In the course of this, it removes “… all guilt and responsibility from its perpetrators and beneficiaries” and thereby “manufactures consent”.  This myth proposes that “the individual is a blank slate who is free to become anything he or she wants to be”.  He explains how this contributes how this notion undergirds the collective sense that “America has a divine purpose to bring freedom to the rest of the world”.   We are indebted to Bonnie Bright for offering this interview and to Barry Spector for sharing his expertise and unique perspective.  Before we tune in to watch the last Presidential Debate tomorrow night and certainly as the remaining days leading up to November 6th unfold, I hope readers will consider listening to this interview. ANNOUNCEMENT: Enrollment is open for the Webinar from The C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco Saturday, October 27, 2012 from 1:00-7:00 PM EST. “The Citizen’s Dilemma in Divisive Times: Four Voices” brings together four voices as the explore the undercurrents shaping this historical moment.  Continuing Education Credit (up to 5 hours) is available and the Asheville Jung Center is pleased to host this conference sponsored by innerQuest Psychiatry & Counseling.   Leonard Cruz, MD

Continue Reading 5 Comments

Layers of Relationship: The Jung-Kirsch Letters

There are many reasons to read The Jung-Kirsch Letters : The Correspondence of C.G. Jung and James Kirsch edited by Dr. Ann Lammers and to attend the conference from the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco on April 28 2012.  The book is a trove of historical documents that evoke a sense of how Dr. Carl Jung founder of an entirely new approach to psychology and psychotherapy, fulfilled his role.  The body of letters spans more than thirty-two years and ranges from banal to  psychologically penetrating and dissect certain aspects of James Kirsch’s psyche as cleanly as if Jung were wielding a scalpel.  The Jung-Kirsch Letters documents some of the history of Analytical Psychology on the West Coast. Above all, they testify to a close relationship between the two men.   The book chronicles James Kirsch’s journey from pre-war Germany to Tel Aviv to London and finally to Los Angeles where he and Hilde Kirsch arrived with their young son, Thomas, to blaze a trail for Analytical Psychology in America.  The Kirsch family would leave an indelible stamp upon Jungian psychology.   There are certain intimate details revealed in the letters that evoke a sense of voyeurism.   The fact that Dr. Thomas Kirsch was so instrumental in the publication of these letters assuages any discomfort.  Dr. Thomas Kirsch will present a conference through the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco on Saturday, April 28, 2012 (the Asheville Jung Center has the privilege of broadcasting this seminar and registration is still open).   These letters deal with a vast array of topics.  There are exchanges between Jung and Kirsch that demonstrate Jung’s genuine interest Judiasm and Kirsch’s unique appreciation for a “Jewish consciousnessIn the midst of Nazi Germany’s rise, Kirsch must have been one of countless Jewish pioneers who had a relationship with Jung, and his first letter from Los Angeles dated 19 November 1940 resonates with the portents of the many Jews who would not survive the Holocaust.   In a 1945 exchange of letters that began with Kirsch on 25 November 1944 and is followed eight months later 3 August 1945 with Jung’s reply, we can appreciate how tenuous mail delivery must have been during the last months of WW II (Victory in Europe Day was 8 May 1945).  Kirsch mentions a woman who reports she underwent a Freudian psychoanalysis with Jung in 1916 and Jung confirms that she must have been correct.  It indicates that in 1916 Jung was still practicing Freudian psychoanalysis though he had penned the famous closing lines from Hamlet in a letter to Freud, “The rest is silence” in 1913.  Though the war impeded the spread of Jung’s ideas, those two letters serve as a reminder that following Jung’s break with Freud the movement that coalesced as Analytical Psychology evolved slowly at first.   A letter dated 18 November 1945 roundly disputes the allegations being made about Jung that he was a Nazi.  Kirsch and others defended Jung from these charges that even appeared in the  The American Journal of Psychiatry, the official organ of the American Psychiatric Association.  Toward the end of the 1940s Kirsch was calling upon Jung to assist him in addressing an issue involving someone who was touting himself as a Jungian analyst (and a training analyst) who did not appear to merit the distinction. This exchange coincides with the formation of the C. G. Jung-Institut Zürich in 1949.   The book is organized thematically with each theme also being demarcated by a range of years. The appendix adds several letters between Hilde Kirsch and Jung along with selected writings of James Kirsch and a brief history of the AAGP/IAAGP.   I have failed to mention one of the richest parts of this book, the footnotes.  If the letters provide a sort of melodic structure to the book, the footnotes are like ornamentations the intricate trills and slides one might hear in a beautiful Baroque piece of music.  In the footnotes are details and amplifications that anchor the letters as something more than a personal exchange between two men.  The footnotes are an apéritif and a cordial.  On Saturday, April 28, 2012 Dr. Thomas Kirsch will present a conference through the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco titled “Layers of Relationship: the C.G.Jung/James Kirsch Correspondence“.   Here is the unedited text from the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco‘s website describing the conference.   In this workshop, Dr. Thomas Kirsch will discuss the nature and course of his fathers correspondence with C.G. Jung. The Jung-Kirsch Letters: The Correspondence of C.G. Jung and James Kirsch, edited by Ann Conrad Lammers was published in 2011. James Kirsch was one of the first generation analysts who had his primary analysis with Jung. As a young man in his 20s he began a psychoanalysis which did not satisfy him and so he entered a Jungian analysis in Berlin. In 1928 he wrote to Jung asking if he could begin analysis, and in 1929 James Kirsch spent two months in Zürich in analysis with both Jung and Toni Wolff. This began a multilevel relationship which spanned four decades and great distances. The contents of the letters cover important subjects such as the relationship between Jews and Christians, Nazi-ism, anti-Semitism, clinical issues in psychotherapy, synchronicity, organizational issues in building up Jungian organizations, difficult personalities, and the nature of clinical work. This workshop will address the clinical, cultural so societal themes throughout the Jung/Kirsch correspondenceboth in Jungs time and in ours.   The Asheville Jung Center is honored to serve as the Internet host for this conference and to be able to preserve this vital link in the history that extends through an analytical and biological generations.  If you are near the San Francisco area, you will want to attend in person (  https://jungkirsch.eventbrite.com/?nomo=1 ), and if distance precludes your attending in person, you can still participate over the Internet.  Register online (for those outside the San Francisco area)  at     http://ashevillejungcenter.org/webinars/layers-of-relationship/layers-of-relationship-registration/ .   Len Cruz, MD

Continue Reading No Comments

Register your E-mail for
New Jungian Seminars and Exclusive Offers

Email: